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VIDEODROME
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07 Aug 2012, 9:51 am

Apple_in_my_Eye wrote:
This thread got me browsing Wikipedia and I ran across this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Directed-e ... ectrolaser
Quote:
Electrolaser
Main article: Electrolaser

An electrolaser lets blooming occur, and then sends a powerful electric current down the conducting ionized track of plasma so formed, somewhat like lightning. It functions as a giant high energy long-distance version of the Taser or stun gun.

I don't know the practical constraints, but a lightning-bolt-gun would be "way cool."
It might tick-off Zeus, though, with humankind stealing/replicating his power.

On a more serious note, that might be a more efficient way to deliver energy to a target than a laser by itself.


Makes me think of those blasters in Ghostbusters.



01001011
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07 Aug 2012, 10:54 am

Current laser is capable of blinding people. There is no real need to kill them. The trick is so neat that it is actually banned.



Kraichgauer
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10 Aug 2012, 1:04 pm

ruveyn wrote:
AspieRogue wrote:
I used to imagine that sometime in the future, lasers would replace guns as small arms. Keep in mind that ITT I am actually not talking about Directed Energy Weapons designed to shoot down missiles. What I am talking about is a shoulder fired laser that produce a pulse lasting several seconds with an energy range in the hundreds of kilowatts to several megawatts. It would almost be like a flamethrower but far more powerful. Any thoughts on this idea? I am determined to build it but not sure what lasing mechanism to user: Chemical or electrical.


An energy generator capable of powering a laser that could cut through metal or flesh would be rather bulky. The closest thing we have to -storing- that kind of energy is tanks of hydrocarbons to burn or explosives to propel hard bullets. The ideal weapon would be the firearms we all know and love.

ruveyn


Since miniaturizing technology is now the name of the game today, is it at all possible to miniaturize such an energy generator? Say to the size of a pistol, or a cell phone?

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer



12 Aug 2012, 5:47 pm

ruveyn wrote:
A laser can be defeated by dust, mist, fog and mirrors.

ruveyn



Not if the beam wattage is high enough! 8)


If the laser output has enough intensity to ionize air, than any dust, mist, or fog that gets in its path will also be ionized too. As far as mirrors go, they are primarily made of glass that is plated with silver. Even so, mirrors have a limit to how much energy impact they can withstand before those delocalized electrons in the silver atoms absorb enough energy to escape the grip of the nucleus and fly off. Lasers in the megawatt range will burn through most mirrors in less than a second! It turns out that benzene/oxygen lasers produce a burst of more than 1 megawatt that lasts up to 5 seconds. Dayam....I wish I had a book on chemical lasers and exactly how they're built.



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12 Aug 2012, 5:56 pm

The US airforce put a megawatt laser on the nose of a 747 for missile defense purposes. THe program was shut down this year.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_YAL-1



12 Aug 2012, 6:15 pm

simon_says wrote:
The US airforce put a megawatt laser on the nose of a 747 for missile defense purposes. THe program was shut down this year.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_YAL-1



I heard about that. The much lauded "Flying Lightsabre". When it comes to shooting down missiles with directed energy weapons, I'm confident that an X-ray laser would do a much better job than any optical laser. But I'm only talking about small arms here.



14 Aug 2012, 1:36 pm

Part of the problem with the YAL-1 is that the beam cross section is too large and the luminosity per square centimeter is not high enough to burn through the metallic skin of a ballistic missile. High powered lasers are far more effective the smaller the beam cross section is as more energy. X-rays are more effective because each photon has enough energy to knock a bound electron out of its orbit.

IIRC, the most effective chemical lasers are those which use hydrocarbon-oxygen fuel rather than hydrogen-fluorine or iodine-fluorine. I've decided that this project is worth pursuing after all.